Can exercise add years to your life?

Can exercise add years to your life?


  • One of the most common goals set for is usually a pledge to go to the gym regularly.
  • We all want a flat stomach and toned up arms and legs.
  • There is even more motivation coming our way: People who engage in moderate-to-vigorous exercise 2.5 hours weekly live longer.
  • Ian Janssen, Ph.D., led a team from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada and did a study on exercise and its links to longer life, and found that “Exercise can partially reverse the effects of the aging process … a minimum quantity and quality of exercise decreases the risk of death, prevents development of certain cancers, lowers the risk of osteoporosis, and increases longevity.”
  • They compared American health statistics from 1990 to 2006, including death rates and surveys about people’s physical activity patterns at the time they were contacted.
  • This enabled them to compare the life expectancy at each age for adults who were inactive, somewhat-active, and active.
  • “Active” was defined as doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, which equals about 20 minutes per day.
  • The results suggest that moderate exercise can add years of life:
  • Men active at age 20 gained about 2.4 years.
  • Women active at age 20 gained about 3 years.
  • Non-Hispanic black women gained about 5.5 years.
  • White men and women active at age 80 gained about 1.2 and 1.6 years, respectively.
  • Active and “somewhat-active” non-Hispanic black men showed “signifıcant” increases in longevity.
  • To stay healthy and live a longer, love-filled life,  it is recommended to get at least 20 minutes of exercise per day.
  • Janssen I, Carson V, Lee I-M, et al. Years of life gained due to leisure-time physical activity in the U.S. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. In Press, 2012.
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